Posted in About Writing, Writing

Three reasons to love podcasting

There are so many reasons to love pod fiction – both from the perspective of making it and of listening to it. I could write a LOT about it, but instead I’m going to take you on a whistle-stop tour around three of my top reasons.

1. The community:

I’m a big fan of communities. When you give people a chance, they are pretty much brilliant. But there are spaces that cater more towards the dark side of human nature. I think social media is very often one of those spaces. There’s quite a bit of research about this, but I’m going to distil it into two distinct issues:

  • The anonymous element increases the bystander effect;
  • The shortened/limited form of communication lends itself to polarised arguments.

I tend to avoid arguments on the Internet because of these two things… But let me get back to why podcasting is so blooming wonderful. In a world where app-based-conversation is often pretty awful, the podcasting community stands out as being lovely. Really, really lovely. People are encouraging and kind in this space. Everyone is welcome and no one is dismissed from discussion. It is genuinely uplifting to be part of this community – both as a listener and a maker.

2. The relative ease with which one can join in:

I started making my podcast (Diary of a Space Archivist) because I wanted to show some of my students how they could make audio content. So my whole approach was about keeping any expense to the minimum.

I have a laptop, audacity and an inexpensive mic. Ok… a cheap mic. This may be obvious if you listen to my show, but I hope you don’t care too much about that because I’m turning out, what I think, is pretty decent content.

Incidentally, I have launched a Patreon site to try and begin putting some cash into the show – but that’s not the point, the point is it’s relatively easy for lots of folk to become part of the pod fiction story.

3. The range of amazing shows:

There are so many great shows out there. They are, largely, available to listen to for free. They are well made, well written and they are more diverse than anything you’ll find on the radio. There really is something for everyone in pod fiction – or there will be soon! If you don’t already listen, I encourage you to take a little dip. I promise you – you won’t regret it.

Closing thoughts on listening to audio fiction…

Posted in About Writing, education, Video, Writing

On Inspiration

How do you approach writing?

Are you hesitating so much that you’re not connecting the pen with the page at all?  Are you throwing a lot of judgement at those first attempts?

Do you wait for inspiration? Or do you chip away at it?

Give yourself a break.  This should be fun.  Just go ahead and have a go.  Try that exercise I suggest in the video – write for five-minutes non-stop every day.  You never have to share what you write (unless you want to).  Think of it as a warm up.  After a while you’ll find that you have lots of ideas.

Let me know what you think and how you get on in the comments.

Posted in About Writing, Video, Writing

On the making of Diary of a Space Archivist

This is the first week that I haven’t published a new episode of Diary of a Space Archivist.

Feels weird.

Season two will be made asap!

In the meantime, though, I recorded myself making an episode a while back and have edited the footage to make a little video exploring my process and that…

Continue reading “On the making of Diary of a Space Archivist”

Posted in About Writing, Fiction, Writing

Introducing… Diary of a Space Archivist

I’ve been working on something new.

Something that I hope you will like, and want to share with other people.

Ahem *insert drum roll*…

Presenting my new podcast series: ‘Diary of a Space Archivist’ *insert echoey voice*



A podcast that, rather surprisingly, doesn’t involve much archiving…

You can listen to it here, and at the bottom of this post.

I am waiting for approval from iTunes and Spotify where I hope to make it available for ease of access, and I’m working on making it available via Alexa…

This is a short series full of short episodes about the hijinks of a lonely space archivist called Sam…

Sam wanted to be at the forefront of space exploration.  Ideally on the crew of The Discoverer.

Instead Sam’s stuck on her own in a beaten-up-junk-ship, trailing around space behind The Discoverer, archiving all of their cool discoveries in the correct, ‘corporate-approved-process’, with no one but CAL (Computerised Artificial Life), for company.

It could be worse – at least she’s in space – and she’s got a box of curly wurlys under her bunk.

Why a podcast and why space archiving?

I’m glad you asked!

I had the idea for a story about a space archivist about eight years ago.  Originally I had planned to turn it into a regular comic strip, but I just never got round to it.  Life and *my tendency to sit on my own creative stuff got in the way.

The idea didn’t go away though, and when an opportunity presented itself to learn more about making podcasts, I decided to use my space archivist idea to explore the medium.  If I’m honest, I think this works much better than the comic strip I’d initially intended – and I’m having a lot of fun making it!

Each episode might be mega-short, but making them isn’t half time consuming!  Really glad that it suits being short because there’s no way I’d be able to pull this off if my episodes were around the 20-minute-plus mark.

The plan is to release weekly episodes for a short series of around 6 episodes in total.  This will take me to the beginning of teaching at uni, when what time I have will disappear into the vortex-of-no-one-knows-where…

I hope to make and release the second series sometime in the new year (2019) – but it will depend entirely on the time at my disposal, and how well the first series does.  So if you enjoy listening and you want to find out what happens next – encourage me to get on with it by sharing the series with as many people as you can.

I also recorded some footage for what I’m referring to as an ** ‘insight video’ about making an episode.

When I get the chance I’ll edit it into something coherent and post it here to pontificate some more on the making process…

Thanks for reading, thanks for listening and – if you’re of a mind to – thanks for sharing.

*my tendency to sit on my own creative stuff – I have worked on a fair number of things for a fair number of years but never really pushed most of it.  There are a number of reasons for this.  I have been and am genuinely very busy with work and life.  My job is time-consuming and really quite involving.  Life is… life… I am working on a PhD and I have a small child.  The number of hours available to me have shrunk to some minutes here and there.

Those are, I think, pretty good reasons to put off something that has always felt fairly self-indulgent.  But there’s another reason.  The one behind the other reasons which are really just excuses.  The real reason… The fear of rejection.

What if my writing just isn’t strong enough?  What if I’m just not good enough?  What happens if I can’t catch hold of this dream?

If I never really try then I’ll never really fail…

And, frankly, this little voice has been holding me back.  So, recently I have decided something.  And the something is this: screw that.

And so I bid adieu to putting it off.  Here is a podcast.  Boom.

Soon – a short novel! Boom. After that… a picture book – boom! Not forgetting a bunch of TWINEs – boomity boom-time.  And that, as they say, is that.

**insight video – I thought that some folk may be interested in the making of things, so I’m toying with this idea of releasing the odd insight video.  This will always be a look at the making process – well – my making process… we’ll see whether folks like the podcast one.  If so, there will be more…



Featured image by: spiesteleviv